How to do SEO for eCommerce category pages (a step by step guide)

SEO for eCommerce Category Pages

In today’s time, any existing product or service that can be imagined is available on an eCommerce website or other means. With changing times, there has been an increase in the number of people buying things online. According to a survey, there will be a total of over 2.14 billion global digital buyers by 2021.

Some of the reasons for choosing eCommerce sites are more convenience, lower prices, sales tax exemptions, etc.

Ecommerce websites are widely accepted as they provide greater market reach, secured transactions, shorter distribution channels, faster delivery, better data for sales forecasting, easier access to focus target markets on the basis of age, and interests, the lesser cost for goods, services, shipping, etc.

Primarily eCommerce websites use a pre-existing shopping cart software platform, and an integrated content management system. There are several eCommerce platforms to choose from, but the most preferred platforms are Magento, Onveos, Shopify, and WooCommerce (a WordPress plugin).

Most people think that they can rest after creating a website, but actually, this is the point where work begins. Just having a website will not work until you have customers visiting it.

In this article, our focus will be on eCommerce SEO for Category Pages. It is mostly seen that people are worried about optimizing their website’s homepage but hardly think about its category pages.

Importance of category pages

A category page is an essential aspect of any eCommerce website and also can be turned into high authority pages. For a functional website, it is advised to have a hierarchical structure with just three levels, implying that after the home page, its category page holding the uttermost importance. But for obtaining a real advantage of higher ranking, and greater traffic, you’ll need to take the way of eCommerce SEO for category pages.

Avoiding eCommerce SEO for category pages may trigger an opposite effect as Google will contemplate them to be insignificant, which may have a negative impact on your domain authority.

Category pages can play a vital role in achieving higher rankings. 

There have been instances where e-commerce website fails to rank on the individual product pages due to the availability of similar products on other prominent websites which leads them to the top spot at SERPs or the other reason could be people not using the individual names of products for searching and may apt for more common terms.

Optimizing common terms for category pages is one of the best approaches for reaching audiences/customers, and enhances your eCommerce traffic.

For a clear understanding, Suppose you’re in a shoe manufacturing business, and manufacture shoes for men. While searching, people will use a common term like “Shoes for men” or related terms rather than searching for a specific/ individual product.

How to optimize SEO eCommerce category pages

Now you might be aware of the category pages, and the importance they hold in eCommerce SEO, but this information is not enough for taking it further. There is an utmost need for a specific implementation of SEO on eCommerce category pages.

Here, we provide you with an 8 step by step guide to the eCommerce SEO checklist for optimizing category pages aptly.

Category URL

When you’re doing eCommerce SEO for category pages, always begin with optimizing the URLs.

Your URLs should be clean, short, and on-point, making sure that audiences/ customers can understand all about your category by just looking at its URL.

Taking the example of men’s shoes, your shoes for men category URL should be something like this: https://example.com/mens-shoes.

If you’re someone who uses Woocommerce and WordPress as eCommerce CMS, it will be required to have a category slug. The ‘Product-category’ is a default slug.

The decision will be yours to either use it or change it as all the products can be formed as a cluster together.

Category Titles

If you wish to give Google strong signals regarding the page and its content, opt for the category title as it is a great chance to do so.

While molding your titles, always think about certain points such as:

Consequences of the keyword research, to know the keywords that are used by people for searching their queries will eventually help in title optimization.

The title should always start with a keyword and then add the brand name.

The title should have specific characteristics of the category products. Suppose you provide white sports shoes, the same should be reflected in your title.

Category meta description

Affixing quality content on the description of category pages will not affect the on-page SEO, but plays a vital role in attracting a higher click-through rate (CTR) only after you have first page rankings for that category page.

While providing descriptions about category pages, strive to deliver capsule information about your products, and offerings. Suppose you offer various after-sale benefits like free shipping, free returns, etc. it will ultimately trigger the audiences to click on your site and enter it.

Category tag

While performing SEO for category pages, always optimize category pages in the same manner as other pages or posts for your website, including the optimization of the H1 tag and overall content of the page.

There should be only one H1 tag on the category pages at the uppermost part of the page. It could be similar to the title of the page or even different, but it should have your targeted keywords.

Further beneath the H1 tag, you have the option of adding a bit of crisp content to provide your audiences and search engine crawlers with a hint about the overall page. The same content here can also be used in the meta description.

Text content

There are instances when people working with eCommerce SEO experience difficulty in adding text content to their eCommerce category pages as it has the ability to break up the design of a page and simultaneously drive away people’s attention from the essential elements of the page.

To conquer this problem, you can have a bit of content beneath the H1 tag with some relatable text content at the bottom of the page.

Visual elements and other important components

Everyone knows the importance of quality content in eCommerce SEO, but there are a few more things that need your attention like your category pages must be properly optimized with images and other components that will help audiences/ customers in finding the item they want in the least possible clicks.

For any eCommerce website, Images are one of the most important elements. Suppose if you’re dealing with physical products, images can act as a potential medium for informing about your product to future customers. It is advisable to use highly optimized images if not there, the possibility of losing customers is higher.

If your category page has a lot of products in the same category, then there might be a need for filters that will aid your audiences/customers in finding and selecting the product of their choice.

You should consider having proper product descriptions below the product image and if possible try to add price, ratings.  If there has been an addition to your collection or any special offer, put a label on the product image for highlighting the same.

Optimization components

It is essential to remember that the category page is also a landing page and there could be a possibility of audiences/ customers viewing it as the first page after looking for it at search engines or Facebook.

Therefore, it should have all the elements that are essential for encouraging and convincing audiences/customers to engage at your store and possibly convert.

While designing your category page, keep in mind to include several things, most importantly your contact information and logo, besides that Menu options, Testimonials, Newsletter signups, call to action buttons, and lastly any promotions or offerings.

If your category page is full of various products, highlight you’re most popular products as it will help the audiences/customers to find out what they actually want by looking at the list of popular products or categories.

Placing canonical URLs  accurately

There is a need for a canonical URL if your category page is exceeding more than one page or there has been a usage of filters on the same page.

Opting for a canonical URL will attribute all your backlinks to the category page, eventually making your page stronger and also aid in avoiding issues of duplicate content.

Wrapping up

To conclude, we’ll say that category pages hold utter importance for eCommerce websites, and there’s no other substitute for eCommerce SEO for category pages. If you follow the above-mentioned eCommerce SEO guide for the category page, then there is a sure shot possibility of attaining higher rankings.